Snow in Kazakhstan

Snow capped mountains have continued to fill our vision since re entering Kazakhstan. The sun does not poke it’s head out until 8am and it is dark by 6pm. The roads are pot holed and dangerous. Wild camping would be easy anytime but winter. The trees are void of leaves and provide little cover. Yet the landscape is absolutely beautiful. The sky is moody, alternating between black storm clouds and sun bursts that highlight the snow and turn the dry grass even more golden. Rivers again……sparkling silver reflections cutting through the land like a mystical serpent.
Just before Taraz the mountains are so close we see the wind whip at the snow upon the peaks in a light show as dramatic as the wind…….a tail wind!
Li has a cold and between limited daylight and the need to rest, our progress has been slow. One day we complete only 30km and were about to call it a day….the wind materialised and jubilant, we complete another 50km in just over an hour, trying to overtake the myriad of tumble weeds racing beside us.
The wind cleared as we pitched camp before gaining momentum again, battering the tent to a degree we have not experienced since camping on a precipice in Langres in France. But we were warm…..too warm, stripping off layers in the night…..I fell asleep to the sounds of rain.
Actually, not rain….snow. I had chilled again in the early hours and unwillingly stuck my head out of the tent ready for another day. I love snow…..forgot to put on more clothes in my excitement. Soon after doing a stupid dance….and star jumps, to regenerate heat and exhibit my happiness. Li was not so impressed…..maybe at my request to pop Lil Ted outside to also have a look. But she did humour me….Lil Ted was silent.
The snow and wind picked up, another tail wind, high vis clothes, snow goggles, all of our layers…..we cycled into Taraz in what proved a beautiful but challenging ride, hot……except for when we stopped.

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